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File Cabinet Locks
File cabinet locks have quite a few advantages, the most obvious one being the protection of sensitive documents. However, there are also some disadvantages, which you may not have previously thought about. In this article, I will detail some of the advantages and disadvantages involved with using file cabinet locks. Then, I will provide a general procedure by which you can install a file cabinet lock, followed by a discussion of the considerations that need to be taken into account when selecting a file cabinet lock.
Advantages of File Cabinet Locks
Protect Sensitive Information With File Cabinet Locks
File cabinet locks are used to prevent unauthorized access to important and sensitive documents in an office environment. Anyone who has ever worked in an office setting, myself included, knows that every office has at least one person that tries to know everything about everybody. Protect your employees from people like this by using file cabinet locks. The protection that file cabinet locks can offer to your home or office is relatively inexpensive, as there are many file cabinet locks that can be found for less than five dollars. They are also readily available in that they can be purchased at just about any hardware or office supply store. File cabinet locks are designed for use on many different file cabinet types, including global file cabinet locks and lateral file cabinet locks.
File Cabinet Locks Can Keep Your Office Clean And Safe
File cabinet locks are easy to install. In some cases, they can be installed in under five minutes. Many times, if a file cabinet is bumped or tipped, the drawers may come forward, causing the cabinet to tip over, spilling the contents everywhere. If you've ever had to clean up a mess like this, you know that it's not fun. The problem is not cleaning it up, but rather putting everything back in its proper file. However, a locked file cabinet will keep the drawers from coming forward, preventing the file cabinet from tipping over, and keeping your office safe, clean, and secure.
Lose The Key To Your File Cabinet Lock? No Problem
A major concern with file cabinets with locks is what would happen if you lost your key. Losing your key to a locked file cabinet is not the end of the world. If the lock has a number on the locking cylinder, simply go to the nearest office furniture or supply store and find a file cabinet with the same number on its lock. The key that will unlock that file cabinet will also unlock yours. This happened to me one time. When I found the number on the locking cylinder of my file cabinet, I took a stroll to the nearest office supply store and found a cabinet with the same numbered lock. I got the store manager to let me borrow the key for that lock. I then went to a locksmith who made a new key for me. You could also buy the key from the store as well. That key will open your lock just like the one that you lost. Most thieves either don't know about this, or won't bother going through the trouble of getting his own key. You could also pick the lock with a paper clip, but this takes a lot of practice. There are also other ways of easily getting into a file cabinet without a key, but most people aren't going to try to drill their way through it.
File Cabinet Locks Are Easy To Replace
File cabinet locks and hardware are very easy to remove and replace. This is good to know in the event that you break your key off inside the lock, or if the lock stops working. Replacement file cabinet locks are readily available at reasonable prices.
Disadvantages of File Cabinet Locks
File Cabinet Locks Can Still Be A Pain
In spite of the fact that file cabinet locks can provide protection of your most sensitive information around the office, there can be some disadvantages. If you do lose your key to the file cabinet, as mentioned above, you will have to jump through some hoops to be able to access the contents of the cabinet, whether that be buying a new key, or drilling out the lock. If you break your key off inside the lock, or if the lock stops working, it will need to be replaced, which can be a challenge if you're not mechanically inclined.
No File Cabinet Lock Will Prevent A Break-In
While it is probably better to have a file cabinet lock than to not have one, it should be remembered that no lock can 100% guarantee against unauthorized access. Forgetting this fact can sometimes lead to a false sense of security. All file cabinets can be broken into. A thief can simply follow the instructions listed above to get a key for the lock if he really wants to get in the cabinet, or he can drill it out if no one is around. In some cases, you may be better off by using a padlock if you're really concerned about someone breaking in. Wood file cabinet locks can also be circumvented by drilling a hole through the top of the file cabinet and then hitting the plunger bolt from behind with a screwdriver or an ice pick to cause the cabinet to open up. As mentioned before, some file cabinet locks can be picked with a pair of paper clips. Many can be busted open with a hammer and screwdriver. Even a padlock can be cut with bolt cutters.
File cabinet locks have a very useful purpose as they can protect sensitive documents against thieves and employees with prying eyes. They can also prevent a file cabinet from tipping over and spilling the contents everywhere. However, none of the conventional file cabinet locks on the market can guarantee 100% protection.
How To Install File Cabinet Locks
You recently purchased a lock for your file cabinet, and you are trying to figure out how to install it on your file cabinet, so that it will protect all of your sensitive documents from prying eyes. In all cases, you should defer to instructions that have been provided by the manufacturer, but in case you lost those instructions, here is a general procedure by which you can install your file cabinet lock.
Removing The Knockout
The first thing that you need to do is to pull out the top drawer. On most file cabinets, the lock is next to the top drawer, so that drawer needs to be out of the way in order for you to carry out this procedure. Once you've done this, you'll need to look inside the file cabinet behind the upper right hand corner, or where the lock would normally go. By moving your finger around this area on the inside of the file cabinet, you should be able to find the knockout. The knockout of a file cabinet is a very thin and oval-shaped indentation that was made by the manufacturer. In order to install your new lock, you need to remove the knockout. You can do this by placing a punch in the center of the knockout and gently tapping out the knockout with a hammer. It should pop right out.
You're Halfway There, Now Finish The Job
Now that you've removed the knockout, put the new lock in place through the front of the file cabinet. Put on the new pin to hold the lock in place. If you have any diagrams or instructions from the manufacturer, then this pin may be referred to as the coder pin. When you do this, you need to make sure that the bolt of the file cabinet lock is pointing up. Otherwise, it just won't work. Once you've done that, put the locking mechanism over the bolt, followed by the nut to hold it all together. Then try to turn the lock back and forth with the new key to make sure that the lock works and that it has been installed correctly. Once you're sure that you've got it done right, put the top drawer back in and lock the cabinet.
As you can see, it doesn't take much to install a new file cabinet lock, other than a hammer, punch, and maybe a wrench. If you have the right tools, then it won't take you long at all.
File Cabinet Lock Diagram From SingleKeys.com
Important Considerations When Selecting New File Cabinet Locks
If you need to buy new metal file cabinet locks, then you should be aware of the number of considerations that need to be taken into account before buying, in order to insure that you get the best lock for your needs. Below, I will outline some of the key considerations that you should be taking into account.
Are These Replacement Locks?
One important question when buying file cabinet locks is whether the new locks are replacing locks that had been manufactured into the file cabinet. In many cases, you may have to buy a lock that is exactly like the one that you are trying to replace. This can be quite a challenge, especially if the file cabinet is really old. In some instances, you may find yourself just buying a new file cabinet.
Is This File Cabinet Being Used At Home Or In The Office?
In deciding what type of file cabinet lock to buy, you need to know whether the file cabinet will be used at home or at work. If the filing cabinet is going to be used at home, then the chance of someone breaking into it is going to be quite low. In this case, you could probably get away with one of the cheaper 4 drawer file cabinet locks that costs less than five dollars.
However, if the file cabinet is at work, then you may want to take some added precautions. You could simply replace the lock with one that is just like it, and then forget about it, but you are taking some risk by doing this. For one, as I mentioned above, an enterprising thief can get a key for the lock if there is a number on the locking cylinder, allowing him or her to get whatever they need out of the file cabinet without you ever knowing it. If they have some practice, thieves could also get into the file cabinet by picking the lock with a paper clip. If they are hell bent on getting into the file cabinet and don't have a key, then they could get in by drilling into the top of the file cabinet and popping the plunger bolt with a screwdriver or an ice pick. They could also bust out the lock with a hammer and screwdriver. Of course, the odds of the latter two methods being employed are very slim. It just depends on the type of office where the file cabinet is being kept and the type of people who are around the file cabinet.
Consider An Electronic File Cabinet Lock
If you're worried about someone breaking into your file cabinet at work, then you can always get an electronic file cabinet lock. These electronic locks don't involve the use of keys to unlock the cabinet. With an electronic lock, you have to punch in a passcode in order to access the contents of the cabinet. If you ever need to change anything, then all you have to do is change the passcode instead of changing the lock itself. However, you should only get one of these locks if you need to, as they can cost well over $100.
Keyless Electronic File Cabinet Lock From SafesEtc.com
A Locking Bar May Be A Cheaper Alternative
If the price of a keyless electronic file cabinet lock scares you, then you may want to consider a locking bar that may be a cheaper alternative. The locking bar extends down the length of the file cabinet on one side, and goes over each file cabinet drawer. When the locking bar is secured by a padlock, it is next to impossible to remove it, unless someone takes a pair of bolt cutters to the padlock, which is highly unlikely. This locking bar is easy to install and fits on most cabinets that have recessed drawers. It can even add a layer of protection to drawers that already have built-in locks. You can buy one of these locking bars online for less than $40.
Abus File Cabinet Locking Bar For A 4 Drawer File Cabinet
Now that you have read this article, you should be more familiar with the many benefits and pitfalls of file cabinet locks. You have a very general procedure by which you can install a file cabinet lock in just a few minutes' time. You are also now aware of some of the considerations that need to be taken into account when selecting an appropriate file cabinet lock for your needs.
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